Story and photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports
Temasek Polytechnic, 2018, October 15 — Temasek Polytechnic (TP) overcame an unexpected ejection of one of their players, Sherman Seet, in the second quarter, to defeat Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) 72-59 and kick-start their 2018 Polytechnic–Institute of Technical Education Games (POL-ITE) basketball championship.
TP was clearly shaken when Sherman was given two technical fouls in quick succession in the opening minutes of the second half. According to the referee, the first was an unsportsmanlike foul for an elbow that was thrown by Sherman after an altercation. The second technical, which resulted in the ejection, was given after the referee saw Sherman talking heatedly towards the opponent right after the foul was given.
“I think the guys are being too excited,” said TP’s coach, Wong Hwee Liak, with a smile after the match, brushing off the ejection.
“It’s kind of no problem and we come back in the third quarter… they are young players, they need to learn,” added the 52-year-old.
TP had three players in the double digits with Zhai Siming (#1), Kelvin Lim (#22) and Lim Rui Min (#9) scoring 19, 17 and 14 points respectively while NP was led by Sean Tiah (#10) who had a game-high 23 points.
After a close first quarter which ended 16-12 to TP’s favour, the ejection knocked the wind out of the home side’s sails as they promptly lost their lead to the visitors. The boys in white uncharacteristically turned the ball over three times right after the decision which allowed NP to make a 9-0 run to take a slim 31-30 lead at the end of the second quarter.
During the halftime break, coach Wong said he told his charges to slow the game down and not rush their play and his boys came out firing in the third quarter, outscoring their opponents 27-12 to reclaim the lead. Kelvin Lim (TP #22) in particular put on quite an offensive display scoring seven of his 17 points in the third quarter and even capped off his impressive showing with a two-handed dunk following a quick counter.
NP closed out their third quarter with a buzzer beater by Saysay Erwin Pili (#6) as he sunk a shot from half-court to the delight of his teammates. But it provided little comfort as the quarter ended with them being outgunned by TP as the scoreboard showed 57-43.
The boys in blue hustled hard in the final quarter to try and claw some points back. Things got heated up between Kelvin Lim (TP #22) and Champion Sheng Jie Oscar Challander (NP #1) towards the end of the match after Champion appeared to almost hit Kelvin with his elbow during a play.
Kelvin retaliated in an off the ball altercation after that and was slapped with a technical foul by the referee. The TP player then responded immediately in a more proper fashion with a layup down at the other end while being marked by Champion. In an attempt to diffuse the tension, NP’s coach promptly substituted his player out for a while.
Despite the big gap, NP continued to give their all with Sean Tiah scoring half of his team’s 16 points in the last quarter but it was eventually not enough. NP’s coach Kendy Lee said he was disappointed with the result.
“We had some (planned) team defense to go against them and this really worked for the first two quarters as you can see in our score when we got the lead,” said the 38-year-old.
“Eventually, I think in the third quarter they lost their self-confidence and let go a bit and let TP catch up and from this part, it’s quite hard to get it back,” he added.
“After today’s loss, we are still looking into chasing after the top three positions because we need to be in the top three to qualify for the IVP.”
On October 17, TP will face Nanyang Polytechnic in their next match while NP will face off with the Institute of Technical Education.
Scoring by Quarter
TP vs NP
1st Q: 16–12
2nd Q: 14–19 (30–31)
3rd Q: 27–12 (57–43)
4th Q: 15–16 (72–59)
Zhai Siming (#1) – 19 points
Kelvin Lim (#22) – 17 points
Sean Tiah (#10) – 23 points
Ng Shi Yu (#57) – 16 points
Mohamed Shukri Bin Manaf (#0), Zhai Siming (#1), Ong Yan Zhi Darius (#3), Christian Co Pepito (#4), Clement Sim Han Xiang (#5), Cheng Ye Hui (#7), Lua Jun Rong Terry Peter (#9), Sherman Seet Ding Xun (#11), Eugene Chua Wei Jun (#12), Lester Lee Ee Kiat (#13), Toh Jing Bo (#21), Kelvin Lim Hong Da (#22), Jordan Lee Jun Hao (#23), Willie Tan Wei Lun (#32), Chaw Ji Keong (#77)
Champion Sheng Jie Oscar Challander (#1), Chua Wei Rong Victor (#5), Saysay Erwin Pili (#6), Wu Ming Ming (#7), Sia Wei Hng (#8), Lim Rui Min (#9), Tiah Min Feng Sean (#10), Lim Jia Chen (#11), Tan Yong Lun (#13), Lim Jun Jie (#15), Hsu Yao (#17), Toshiro Kristen Murakami (#24), Lim Wang Shen (#29), Choo Jing Xian (#37), Ng Shi Yu (#57)
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